Photo by Bob Durling – UltiPhotos.com
Article be Elan Kane
Rob Baker began playing Ultimate recreationally during lunch periods in high school. It was not until his junior year that Baker began playing competitively in Ashland, MA. As captain, Baker led his high school team to a second place finish in the Division II Massachusetts State Tournament. Currently, he’s the league-leader in passes defended with 20.
Baker’s true Ultimate training began at Penn State, where he met captain and coach Keith Stern. “I came to college with no real strategic Ultimate knowledge,” Baker explained. “[Stern] taught me the game and helped me develop into the player I am today.” The team placed second at the 2011 Ohio Valley Regionals in the inaugural year of the new bid allocation system. Most recently, Baker plays for PoNY, appearing at Nationals with the squad in 2012.
When Baker is not playing Ultimate, he works as a financial reporting associate at Prudential Financial and is also an avid golfer.
Baker describes his favorite aspect of Ultimate. “It’s the athletic freedom of the sport,” he said. “The fact that you are the quarterback, wide receiver, and safety. I love making big plays and hearing the oohs and ahhs.”
General manager Michelle Kondracki described Baker as a game-changing defender. “Rob Baker is an intelligent defender. He knows when to be close to his man, and when not to be,” Kondracki said. “My favorite thing about Rob is he responds to what the team and fans want. If it’s a close game and the opponent has possession, you can always count on Rob to make a game-changing play.”
On the offensive side, Baker, a cutter, views his deep game as his biggest strength. Look for Baker to play his signature hard defense and explosive offense throughout the remainder of the season as the Rumble make a push for the playoffs.